Used US Class 8 Prices Soar Over 50% in a Year

The average price for a used Class 8 soared to a new high for the third consecutive month as June sales climbed year-over-year amid the lowest inventory levels yet in this cycle, according to Transport Topics, citing a ACT Research report. The price hit US$61,219, or 51% higher compared with $40,449 a year earlier.

“That was the first time above the $60,000 mark in the 20-year history we’ve got,” ACT Vice President Steve Tam told Transport Topics. May came in at $58,487.

Each month, ACT provides an industry estimate based on its survey of a sample of dealers, wholesalers and auctioneers as well as a few large fleets to determine average price, age and mileage, and estimated used Class 8 sales volumes.

“The fact is, there is no let-up in the amount of stuff people want, and are willing to pay for and are trying to get,” Tam said. “The ports are all jammed up. The railroads are having a horrible time with intermodal. The containers are all in the wrong place, and they can’t get them to where they need them to be in order to use them.

“The natural substitute is truck, but yet we are beset by a lack of trucks, lack of drivers. It’s just keeping things really, really tight, which is boding well for the used truck market.”

ACT pegged June used Class 8 sales at 22,800 compared with 18,000 a year earlier and 20,700 in May.

Year-to-date sales were up 25% to 130,400 compared with 104,200 in the 2020 period, according to ACT’s industry estimate.

Tam said the industry’s exact inventory level — marked by used trucks always entering and leaving — is not known, but his “inventory barometer” points to it being at the lowest reading in this cycle.

“Inventory is constantly churning, but there are fewer and fewer trucks out there to be resold,” he said. “Basically, if buyers want a truck they don’t have as many options as they used to.”